XPRIZE Launches New, $2M Ocean Health Prize

XPRIZE, the nonprofit organization which has been using large dollar prize competitions to spur innovation in a wide range of areas, has booted up a brand new, $2M prize around ocean health, the group said this week. According to the Los Angeles-based organization, its newest price is the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, which will challenge teams to develop accurate and affordable ocean pH sensors, to help address the issues with ocean acidification due to the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). The foundation said that current sensors are "inadequate" and "unaffordable", and that the technology will help spur development in the area. The XPRIZE Foundation said that oceans absorb about one quarter of the CO2 that humans release into the atmosphere, causing the chemistry of the water to change and the oceans to become more acidic, causing devastating global consequences to the ecosystem. The XPRIZE Foundation's first effort, which it ran focused on commercial space flight, has been responsible for the big upsurge in space related startups in Southern California.